Your resume is strong, and you’ve crafted the perfect cover letter to get an interview in the public information field. The next step is to carefully prepare yourself for your interview so you know your qualifications will get noticed and your application will stand out in the hiring manager’s mind.
The interview is your chance to expand on the information you’ve provided in your resume and cover letter, getting into more detail about who you are, what experience you have and what you can bring to the company. This is your chance to say what makes you an excellent candidate for the job, so take full advantage and prepare yourself to provide the kind of information an interviewer will be looking for. Be sure to follow best interview practices, such as showing up on time and dressing in appropriate office attire, but then take your interview beyond the basics with these public information officer interview tips.
Public Information Officer Interview Tips
Highlight Your Communication Skills: Communication will be the most important part of your job as a public information officer, so it’s vital to highlight your skills in this area. Be sure to let your interviewer know how you’ve fostered positive relationships in previous jobs, especially those with media outfits, community organizations, and government agencies. If you’ve held positions where you’ve had to interact with the media or the public, underscore those relationships when discussing your previous work experience. Mention any community relations or outreach programs you’ve been involved in as well. Remember, it’s just as important to showcase your communication skills in written and oral media. Let your prospective employer know about reports you’ve prepared, press releases or articles you’ve written and speeches you’ve given or prepared.
Show That You Can Stay Cool Under Pressure: You’re applying for a potentially stressful position that requires maintaining a calm and composed manner through any and every situation. You may be able to discuss this quality in yourself while sharing your experience maintaining positive relationships with the press and others. If you’ve dealt with difficult or tense situations at work, tell your interviewer what you did to solve the problem and how you were able to make sure cooler heads prevailed. Even describing where you failed to keep your composure can demonstrate to an interviewer what you’ve learned about how to ameliorate difficult problems in the future, and can show that you’ll be a thoughtful and intuitive employee who can smooth over any thorny situations you might come across.
Demonstrate Your Organizational Expertise: Staying organized will be vital to your success, and showcasing that ability is one of the most critical public information officer interview tips. Your ability to monitor and report on information programs and systems will be vital to your success on the job, so be prepared to share your organizing successes with prospective employers. If you’ve been tasked with overseeing programs or disseminating information in the past, explain how you managed to keep everything in order and make certain that every job on your to-do list was handled with care.
Showcase Your Leadership Abilities: A public information officer is often expected to take a leadership role in situations that pertain to disseminating information. If you’ve held leadership positions in the past, indicate what kind of control you had and what you did with it. You don’t necessarily have to have led a group of employees to demonstrate leadership skills. Mention any information programs you’ve implemented or been in charge of, and tell your interviewer about any time you’ve had to take the initiative to solve a problem or act in an emergency.
Know What You’re Getting Into: This is an important component of preparing for any job interview, but as public information officer interview tips go, it’s particularly crucial. If you’re interviewing for a position in which you’ll be disseminating information as required by law, show that you understand what the role will entail and that you’re eager to learn any details you aren’t yet familiar with. Ask your interviewer about the type and tone of information you’ll be in charge of dispensing, and any special considerations you’ll need to keep in mind about how information is shared. This will let your prospective employer know you take the job seriously and are keen to learn how to perform it to the best of your abilities.
Following these tips will help you stand out in your interview and make the best kind of first impression with your prospective employer.